Farmington No. 9 explosion remembered 55 years later

FAIRMONT, W.Va. – The United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) will remember the 55th anniversary of the Farmington #9 Mine disaster with a memorial service at 1 p.m. Sunday at the Farmington #9 Memorial site in Mannington.

On November 20, 1968, an explosion and fire at the Consolidation Coal Mine claimed the lives of 78 miners. Nineteen miners were unable to be recovered and are entombed in the mine. The disaster resulted in the nation’s first comprehensive mine safety and health legislation, the Mine Safety and Health Act of 1969, being passed by Congress.

Eight years after the Farmington explosion, in 1977, Congress created the Mine Safety and Health Administration, along with requiring mine rescue teams and expanding rights for miners.